Singer/songwriter/producer Usher introduced his teen protégé, Justin Bieber, to Los Angeles tastemakers yesterday (April 27) during a sit-down lunch at The Sunset Tower Hotel.
Currently recording his Island Records debut in Atlanta, the 15-year-old Bieber is already at radio with the Chris "Tricky" Stewart-produced single "One Time." A video for the song was shot yesterday. Additional songwriting/production collaborators thus far include The-Dream and Midi Mafia. The album, titled "My World," is slated for release later this year.
Weaned on Stevie Wonder and Usher, among others, Bieber hails from Stratford, Ontario and only began singing three years ago. He was discovered on YouTube by manager Scooter Braun, a former So So Def marketing executive, after Bieber began posting homemade videos from his 2007 second-place contestant stint on a local singing competition. A chance meeting with Usher led to an audition and later to a recording contract offered last October by Island Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid..
Staying around only long enough to introduce Bieber, Usher described the artist as a "young phenomenon. He's definitely a priority for me and Island Def Jam."
A musician as well, the fresh-faced Bieber performed a short acoustic set during which he played keyboards, guitar and the congas—adding that he's been playing full drums since he was two years old. "I guess you can say I've been blessed with talent," says Bieber.